South Africa is home to eight of the world’s top 10 deepest mines. The country has been one of the world’s largest gold producers for decades, even though gold production there has been declining in recent years. A mine is an artificially made pit from where minerals and other resources are extracted. The depth of a mine represents the elevation from the entrance to the deepest excavation point.
The ranking below includes only operational mines, not the ones that are no longer in operation. For instance, the Empire Mine in California has a depth of 2.08 miles, but it’s no longer in operation. Similarly, the Kolar Gold Fields in India, which was 2 miles deep, was shut down in 2001 due to low levels of output after producing gold for centuries.
When they run out of minerals at existing levels, mining companies prefer to go deeper in existing mines to extract more minerals instead of digging a new mine.
10- Creighton Mine, Canada (1.6 miles)
This 2.5 kilometers deep mine is located in the city of Greater Sudbury in Ontario. Owned and operated by Vale, it has been producing nickel since 1901. However, it’s expected to run out of reserves by 2024. It’s the deepest nickel mine in Canada. The mining methods used here include shrinkage mining, mechanized undercut-and-fill mining, and large-diameter blast-hole method.
9- Great Noligwa Gold Mine, South Africa (1.6 miles)
The mine is located in the Vaal River region near the town of Orkney. The Great Noligwa gold mine is owned and operated by AngloGold Ashanti. It has a maximum mining depth of 2.6 kilometers. The mine has more than 2,000 permanent employees.
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